Lecture 6 - Jan 25th

Lecture 6 - Jan 25th - Attention Last Class:It is...

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Attention Last Class: It is important to know that the theory of prosopagnosia (face blindness) being genetic is very new. There is some evidence to support the claims, but it’s still a new thing. Possible that it’s two genes, many? Yes. Attention borders tightly with consciousness (some theories that say it is consciousness, some say (prove?) it doesn’t). Gorilla bball video: Focus on white people passing bball (14 times). -striking example of how our attention works - things that are enormous, but out of context can be missed -experiments found that many many people did not see the gorilla on the first try -black vs. white: not always the case (more people will notice the gorilla when focussing on black, but not many more) *Attention guides what we perceive, and what comes into our consciousness. Overview: -Defining attention -Properties of attentional selection -Varieties of attention -How to measure attention? -Neuropsychological disorders -Brain mechanisms (implicated in healthy humans in controlling attentional processes) Attention is connected to States of Arousal Awake: -Inattentive (drowsy, relaxed) -Attentive -> Attend (while we attend to some things, we ignore other things) -> Ignore -Automatic -> Reflexes (lights dim, etc) Asleep: -Sleep stages Defining Attention: William James (1890) - pragmatist, wrote the most frequent definitions: “Everyone knows what attention is. It is the taking possession of the mind, in clear and vivid form, of one out what seem several simultaneously possible objects or trains of thought. ..It implied withdrawal from some things in order to deal effectively with others, and is a condition which has a real opposite in the confused, dazed, scatterbrained state which. ..is called distraction.” -how do we test this? Harold Pashler (1998) - “No one knows what attention is, and. ..there may not
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even be an “it” there to be known about (although of course there might be).” -Attention is a multifaceted phenomenon that is hard to pinpoint and clearly say what it is Metaphors of attention (help guide how to study these processes) Posner : Attention is like a spotlight -within the focus of a spotlight will be attended,
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This note was uploaded on 03/01/2012 for the course PSYC 213 taught by Professor Levitin during the Winter '08 term at McGill.

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Lecture 6 - Jan 25th - Attention Last Class:It is...

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